Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #81: October 2012
Safe Routes to School E-News is a monthly email newsletter published by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership), which is leading the national movement for Safe Routes to School by coordinating and energizing more than 600 organizations, government agencies, schools and professional groups. Our mission is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.
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In this issue:
1. APHA and National Partnership Release Transportation and Health Report
Promoting Active Transportation: An Opportunity for Public Health
With the growing rate of obesity, the high cost of gas and climate change, we must rethink and reshape our transportation systems and networks to promote active transportation, with public health practitioners playing a key role. The American Public Health Association and the National Partnership have partnered to produce a new guide: Promoting Active Transportation: An Opportunity for Public Health. This primer is intended to give an introduction and orientation to as to why and how health should be considered in transportation planning and decision-making — in particular through active transportation — and the role that public health practitioners can play. +Read more
2. Implementing MAP-21 – the New Transportation Law
Securing Safe Routes Funds – One State at a Time
Since we are now past October 1, that means that the new transportation law, MAP-21, is now officially in effect. We should soon have more guidance from the US Department of Transportation about how states can implement the new Transportation Alternatives program. Stay tuned for more information just as soon as that guidance is out.
Even without that additional information, states are already making decisions and considering their options for Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking funding. In our latest blog, we have news from eight different states about how advocates are putting pressure on their DOTs to retain and strengthen Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking funding – and how DOTs are responding.
Even though those eight states have encouraging stories, many states have not yet made their decisions and need to hear from you. If you care about Safe Routes to School, please contact your state campaign lead today and offer your help. Every advocate's voice matters as we take this fight to each and every state!
3. Walk and Bike to School Day: Success!
More than 5,000 walking and bicycling events registered to participate
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated in Walk and Bike to School Day on Wednesday, October 3! With more than 5,000 walking and bicycling events registered to participate through www.walkbiketoschool.org, you all helped make it the success that it was! America Bikes posted a blog of the events, highlighting a few of a plethora of success stories.
We urge students, parents, schools and cities to make this the beginning of continued participation in the Safe Routes to School movement. We encourage you to keep walking and bicycling during the Walk and Bike to School Month of October and throughout the rest of the school year. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is here to help you do so by making a variety of resources and publications available to you to help keep this momentum going. Also check out this source for ideas on how to keep moving.
4. Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s 2012 Annual Meeting
Notes are now available
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership held its 10th Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Pro Walk Pro Bike Conference in Long Beach, CA on September 10, 2012. The 2012 Annual Meeting featured discussions on how to sustain Safe Routes to School programs at state, regional and local levels, a timely federal update and our ever-popular breakout groups. To read the meeting notes click here. Save the date now for our free 2013 Annual Meeting – Monday, August 12 from 1-5pm in Sacramento, CA in conjunction with the Safe Routes to School National Conference!
5. State Network Project News
Joint Use – breaking out all over
Joint use (or shared use) agreements are one of the National Partnership’s three primary policy priorities for our Robert Wood Johnson policy work in states. Our state advocacy organizers are doing a lot of work on joint-use agreements in our seven network states. Click here for a sampling.
6. Regional Network Project News
Making progress: from local policy adoption to increased funding for multi-modal project
As the regional network project matures and regional change happens, we see communities within those regions continuing to make forward progress—both through local policy adoption and increased funding for multi-modal projects. In Southern California, in anticipation of Pro Walk/Pro Bike, our regional policy managers reflected on the energy, excitement, efforts and successes toward multi-modal change across the region. In the Greater Washington region, we are continuing to focus efforts on implementation of Complete Streets in the wake of the Transportation Policy Board’s recent adoption of their region-wide policy.
7. Announcing a New Library of Resources
Access fact sheets, reports, journal articles and other informative/useful materials
Based on all that we have produced and gathered over the years from our partners, the National Partnership created a Library of Resources that provides access to documents such as fact sheets, reports, journal articles and other materials that our expert staff have found to be informative and useful in their policy and program work. The Library is not an inventory of everything out there, but includes just the resources we feel are most useful to the Safe Routes to School movement. If there is something important you think we missed, let us know! +Read more
8. F as in Fat Released by RWJF and Trust for America’s Health
Follow the conversation on Twitter - #fasinfat
The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012, a report released in September by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health. For the first time, the annual report forecasts adult obesity rates in each state by 2030 and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related disease rates and health care costs. It also shows that states could prevent obesity-related diseases and dramatically reduce health care costs if they reduced the average body mass index (BMI) of their residents by just 5 percent by 2030.
Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #fasinfat.
10. Featured States
Highlighting Mississippi and South Dakota
Mississippi has certainly been busy with Safe Routes to School initiatives. For starters, they have awarded a total of 39 projects representing 31 communities and 87 schools. They have also had four statewide projects. In the most recent cycles, they awarded $2.5 million involving 12 communities, 26 schools and three statewide partners. The most recent awards were announced in September 2012, which brings their total amount awarded to date to $10.9 million. They have awarded both infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects in communities around Mississippi. Sidewalk and crosswalk projects received the greatest amount of funding. +Read more
Residents of Centerville, SD, gathered in the warm prairie sunshine on a Saturday in September to celebrate completion of the first phase of a Safe Routes to School project. New sidewalks, curb and gutter, ADA curb ramps and traffic signs now make walking to school safer for school kids of all ages in this rural eastern South Dakota community of 882 people. New Safe Routes to School-funded programs to encourage walking to school are boosting the number of who do just that. Click here to read a complete list of funded projects from the 2012 cycle.
Safe Routes to School News throughout the Country
Lynchburg, VA: Schools Encourage Students to Walk to School
Midland, MI: Celebrates Walk and Bike to School Day
Woburn, MA: Woburn Becomes State's 500th 'Safe Routes' District
Help Grow the National Partnership!
Joining the National Partnership is free. Please encourage other organizations, schools, businesses, and government agencies to join the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, a network of more than 600 organizations and agencies.
Funding for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership has been generously provided by the Bikes Belong Coalition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SRAM Cycling Fund, individuals and partner affiliates.
For more information, contact: